37th African Union Summit.. Addressing Continental and International Crises

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
African Union

The African Union summit continues in Ethiopia on February 17th and 18th, 2023, with the Conference of Heads of State and Government. Around thirty leaders from across the continent are expected to convene in Addis Ababa for this 37th edition. Throughout the weekend, they will deliberate on the increasingly alarming situation in Africa, marked by coups d’├ętat, unconstitutional changes, and conflicts.

As per protocol, the official agenda will be finalized after closed-door plenary sessions among the heads of state and government. However, given the particularly concerning situation in various regions of the continent and the alarming address by Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission, during the opening of the Executive Council two days ago, it is unlikely that pressing issues such as the wars in Sudan and Libya, violence at the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, the withdrawal of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, and the political crisis in Senegal will be sidelined.

During his speech, Moussa Faki Mahamat emphasized the accumulation of crises that, in his view, seriously jeopardize the future of African regional institutions. He particularly highlighted the challenges facing ECOWAS, once a champion of regional integration but now grappling with instability caused by repeated unconstitutional changes and successive military coups, compounded by the spread of jihadism.

Moreover, international affairs will also be on the agenda, especially since the African Union became a member of the G20 in September 2023, enhancing its influence on global issues. Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva, current G20 chair, is the guest of honor at the 37th AU summit.

Additionally, the war in Gaza will be addressed, with the anticipated presence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The African Union, which called for an immediate ceasefire and condemned Israel’s bombings in the enclave from the outset, has rejected Israel’s request to attend the summit as an observer.

Soukaina Sghir

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